MAKOTO by Kelley Wilde


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Genre writing and literary experimentation usually mix like oil and water--as in this second horror novel by Wilde. Within Wilde's linguistic ooze, however, floats a tale--about a Japanese immigrant to N.Y.C. and the demon that stalks her--as strongly original as her debut novel, The Suiting (1988), which won a Bram Stoker award. ""Hell let loose in pointillist sounds like buckshot through the basement. Over here! Over there! Rrrrrrrmsssssssstle! CRASH! Shuffle. . .Shuffle. . .Mumblesome-thingmaybeShit. . .Clopclopclopclop!"" Not all of Wilde's prose reads like that, but enough does to swamp her story of pretty, sympathetic Motoko. It's 1985, 14 years after Motoko--as depicted in a prologue as lurid as the chapters to follow--enjoys an incestuous interlude with her brother, a Mishima disciple, then helps him commit harikari Now living in Astoria, Motoko is beset by a plague of problems: handling her estranged, violent husband Michael, who's apparently breaking into her apartment; fending off her Romeo of a Hispanic landlord; dealing with weird neighbors, language barriers, guilt, sexual frustration, loneliness. Motoko's a determined sort, though, eager to make friends, and willing to perform rigorous mental and physical exercises (including dancing a meat cleaver around her fingers) to ensure that all she does is perfect. But no regimen can fully prepare her for the appearance in her building of an oni--that most malevolent of Japanese demons--who speaks in lingo learned from TV (""who loves ya, baby?""), mimics a human appearance (with red eyes and dagger teeth), and slices up Michael and chomps down three neighbors, belching back feces. Aided by some cool-cat friends, Motoko fights a bloody battle with the monster, finally conquering it and, in the process, the emotional demons that have haunted her sad life. One of a kind--but too ambitious by far as Wilde's fresh characters and ideas are nearly whited-out by the blinding blizzard of her prose.

Pub Date: July 18th, 1990
Publisher: Tor--dist. by St Martin's